Are you using a cast iron skillet? If not, why not?
Can we talk about my love for Lodge Cast Iron skillets? Lets talk about it.
If I were transported to a deserted island and I could only bring one kitchen tool with me, I would bring my extra large cast iron skillet. Sure, its a little heavy and it probably wouldn't fit into a backpack, but its the only thing I would need on that island.
I mean, maybe I would bring my smaller one if it was just for me, but the point is, you can't go wrong with a good cast iron skillet. I honestly think that I use one of my 3 cast iron skillets every single day.
I use my cast iron for basically everything. Meat, veggies, eggs, you name it. There is nothing better than that sear you get from cooking with a cast iron. It adds so much flavor and texture that your non-stick will never achieve.
There is some intimidation around cast-irons, specifically how to care for them and how to get the food not to stick. Here are a few tips I've learned that make using cast iron skillets a little less intimidating.
A few tips:
Make sure your cast iron is seasoned. You can buy your cast irons pre-seasoned, but if you don't, its not hard to do it yourself. It just takes a little time. Simply wash your cast iron with soap (ONLY BEFORE YOU SEASON) and warm water, and dry. Then, coat the entire surface of the skillet with a high-heat oil like avocado oil (bacon fat is really good too). Finally, bake with the open side down in a 400 degree oven for one hour. This is the only time you should need to do this step!
Use cooking fat. When you are cooking anything in your skillet that doesn't already have high fat content, like chicken, veggies, or eggs, make sure to put some oil, butter, or some type of fat down into the skillet before.
Be patient. If you are looking to get a nice clean sear on a piece of meat or a good flip on a pancake, you must be patient. Wait until the food's surface has pulled up from the pan (you'll know what I mean when you see it). Also, make sure your pan doesn't get too hot either.
Care, but not too much. When cleaning your cast iron, DON'T use soap. Just use water and a scrubber to get all the crispy bits and gunk off. Once you've done that, put it back on med-high heat and cook until all of the water is gone. Occasionally, rub the entire surface with oil to keep it conditioned. I have a tutorial on cast iron care in my highlights if you need a visual!
I hope that helps ease the intimidation a little bit and maybe even convinces you to try using cast iron yourself! Trust me, you will never go back once you cook with cast iron.